How Does A Domestic Violence Conviction Affects Me
How can domestic violence convictions affect me? It affects your life in a variety of ways, whether or not you go to prison. Let’s look at a few of the likely outcomes of a domestic violence conviction.
A first-time conviction of domestic assault in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor. You’d be lucky to receive deferred adjudication, a treatment program, mandatory public service, and probation. If you commit an additional offense, you will be sent to prison.
If you have prior convictions for domestic violence, then the punishment is a third-degree felony. You’re looking at a year or more in prison. And you’ll have to check the felony box on applications. This limits your ability to find work and housing. If the domestic violence includes a deadly weapon, the charge is upped to a second-degree felony charge. This means that threatening your partner with a bat, knife, or gun can result in a felony, even if you didn’t cause actual damage.
Continuous violence against the family is a charge that can be levied if you have committed two or more domestic assaults in two months. Note that this is two assaults within the same family, so you can be hit with this charge if you assault a child one month and your spouse the next. The charge can be levied whether or not your prior crimes resulted in convictions or arrests. A continuous violence charge results in a third-degree felony if you’re found guilty. Assault with a deadly weapon that results in serious bodily injury is a first-degree felony.
A misdemeanor can come with a fine of up to four thousand dollars. Know that you can’t discharge these fines in bankruptcy any more than you could child support or tax debt. A felony charge could bring a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. And the court could order additional restitution to domestic violence victims to pay for counseling and property damage. You’ll be liable for their medical expenses, too, if you caused harm.
The Impact on the Rest of Your Life
A domestic violence charge often results in a protective order or no-contact order. A protective order can prevent you from getting within 200 feet of your own home, your child’s school, and your partner’s workplace. The order is generally for two months, but it will last three months if the incident includes a deadly weapon. A no-contact order prevents you from having any contact with them for the duration of your case. This means you can’t call the kids to check up on them or send letters to your soon-to-be-ex.
A domestic violence conviction can affect your ability to work in a number of fields. For example, you could lose or be denied a professional license if you work in medicine or education. You will not be eligible to work as a police officer, firefighter, or emergency medical technician. You could be denied a real estate license, locksmith license, and cosmetology license. You may be denied a license to work in people’s homes, costing you your ability to work as an HVAC contractor or security alarm installer.
If you receive deferred adjudication for a first offense, you could continue to possess a firearm and ammo in Texas unless and until you receive a second finding. An affirmative finding of domestic violence after a conviction will cost you your ability to possess a firearm for five years in the state of Texas. And federal law would prohibit you from owning a gun at all.